Home > Brandenburg, Complementarianism, Feminism > Should a Man Ever Be Under the Authority of a Woman?

Should a Man Ever Be Under the Authority of a Woman?

November 7, 2007

Women couldn’t vote in the United States until 1920.  Men were in charge.  Things changed and it wasn’t from a group of Godly individuals getting together to search Scripture and pray about it.  You won’t find anything in the Federalist and Anti-federalists papers about women’s suffrage.  It wasn’t even an issue.  So that’s the way things were in general for hundreds of years of American colonial and U. S. History.   The United States has gone a long ways away from an almost entirely patriarchal society.

Feminism has no doubt made its inroads from society at large to churches.  We have controversy about the woman’s role in the home and church.  If we have it there, then we will see exponentially more conflict when we talk about men and women in general.   The theological liberal says no distinct role for either gender.  The emergent sees it as unclear.  Charismatics are all over the map on roles.   Evangelicals divide on the issue, complementarian or egalitarian, and most choose to see it as a secondary issue.  Many professing fundamentalists see it just like the evangelicals, but mainly they say that the man heads the home and the church.(1)  Very few any more say that the man heads the woman—period—everywhere:  church, home, work, government, society.  If they do, they’re, you know, “chauvinists.”

We look at around at our world and we see a woman in charge of men in the workplace, including the military, the police force, the fire department, and the school system.  We might see her as the next president of the United States.  She’s at least already the Secretary of State, a United States Senator, and Supreme Court Justice.   She’s already run for Vice-President.   Should women be in charge of men?  Are we OK with all that?

I’m not.  And of course, you know why.  I’m sexist.  That has to be it, doesn’t it?  But really, I can be fine with women leading.  Just ask my wife (smiling).  I get tired of doing it myself.  I wish that I could just go along for the ride sometimes.  But I don’t.  It isn’t because I don’t think men and women are equal.  I think they are.  Why?  The Bible says men and women are equal.  They are equal in value or in essence.  That is the point of Galatians 3:28:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Men and women are of equal value or worth to God.  So we don’t get our value or worth from our role, but from the essence of who we are.  Both male and female are made in the image of God, even as Genesis 1:27 says:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Man and woman, both created in God’s image, are equal in essence.  A good comparison is the relationship of the Son to the Father.    They’re equal, and yet the Father is in authority over the Son.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Even though the Son submits to the Father as His superior in authority, He is equal in essence with the Father, even as Philippians 2:6 says:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

Many fundamentalists and evangelicals will argue for complementarianism in the home and church—masculine headship at home and male pastoral leadership.   They treat the rest of society differently.  Is that the Scriptural position?

What Scripture Says about Universal Male Authority

Part of the conflict in the church at Corinth related to the fulfillment of the role of the man and woman.  Roman society of which Corinth was a part practiced the authority of the man.  Some believers in the church at Corinth knew of their equality before God, just like Paul taught in Galatians 3:28.  However, equal in essence did not mean equal in role.  Just like the Corinth church saw roles operational in the culture of Rome, the man was the head of the woman.   He reminds them of the proper order in 1 Corinthians 11:3 when he says that “the head of the woman is the man.”  The Father is the head of the Son.  The Son is the head of the man.  The man is the head of the woman.

When this verse says that “the man is the head of the woman,” is it saying that God’s divine order is men in authority over women in general?  I say, yes.   Certain practices within the church regarding the roles of men and women are ordained in 1 Corinthians 11, but they are not bound in cultural norms but on permanent facts of creation.  Christ is the head of the man—not just husbands or just men in the church, but of man generically.  “The man” is a generic singular noun, speaking of no man in particular, but of man as an entity.  With that established, the man is generally in authority over (“head of”) woman.  Since Paul appeals to the relation between members of the Trinity, he is not viewing relations here as only cultural nor merely the result of the fall.

Other passages corroborate with 1 Corinthians 11:3, looking to something more than just marriage and the church.  1 Timothy 2 is within the context of the church.  Within this context, women have a subservient role to men (vv. 11, 12).  Why? Verses 13-14 bring two reasons that are not related to culture or situation, but to God’s design of men and women.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

The woman is assigned a role submissive to men in the church, the more restricted setting, because of the larger, universal context:  all of God’s design in creation.  God had a purpose in creating man first, which manifests itself in Genesis.  He expected the man to take charge, to embrace the role of authority.  The woman would function as man’s suitable helper.  Divine order will be reflected by man’s conforming to the design of God.  Women are to behave in fitting with God’s purpose for the woman.   The woman was created for the man, from the man, and the man named the woman.  Women aren’t to usurp authority over man in the church because they aren’t to supercede man’s role in general.

God made the woman different in order to fulfill her distinct role.  However, innate to this role for the woman is a God-given vulnerability.  She is the nurturing sex.  The next verse, v. 15, reminds us of her special relationship to children.  Verse 14 is stated as a reason for the woman’s role in the church.  Adam wasn’t deceived; Eve was.  God made the woman especially susceptible to deceit.  For that reason, she needed Adam to fulfill his role, that is, headship.

The woman’s God-ordained vulnerability is not to say that sometimes certain women won’t have more discernment than certain men.  It is to say that God created the man in part to protect the woman from deceit.  A woman’s submission to the man can nuture his ability to lead as God intended.  This is the way God created it to be.  If you don’t think that women are in general more naturally subject to deceit, then look at the voting statistics in the last six or seven presidential elections.   But even if the women could do a better job, this doesn’t excuse women from what God wants for them.

When women do rule men, Scripture sees this as a curse to society.  When it happens, as it sometimes does, it isn’t good or to be admired, but Isaiah 3:12 says that it is a shameful reality:

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

God didn’t intend for women to rule men or even effeminate men, men who act like women, to have authority over men.  This violates God’s intentions revealed in the Garden of Eden.

The Historical Understanding of Christians on the Woman’s Role (2)

John Gill wrote:

Now inasmuch as the serpent did not attack Adam, he being the stronger and more knowing person, and less capable of being managed and seduced; but made his attempt on Eve, in which he succeeded; and since not Adam, but Eve, was deceived, it appears that the man is the more proper person to bear rule and authority, as in civil and domestic, so in ecclesiastic affairs.

Matthew Henry wrote:

And as God is the head of Christ, and Christ the head of the whole human kind, so the man is the head of the two sexes: not indeed with such dominion as Christ has over the kind or God has over the man Christ Jesus; but a superiority and headship he has, and the woman should be in subjection and not assume or usurp the man’s place. This is the situation in which God has placed her; and for that reason she should have a mind suited to her rank, and not do any thing that looks like an affectation of changing places.

How Does This Apply?

Women should have no authority over men.  God made men to lead and women to submit to male authority.  The fall of man is the classic example of what happens when men abdicate their God-given role.  In order to obey God and His Word:

  • Women should hold no office in civil government. (3)

  • Women should stop directing, bossing, superintending, administrating, or managing men in the workplace.

  • Women should cease leading churches.

  • Women should discontinue preaching to men.

  • Women should no longer challenge or moderate men in blogs and online forums.

If the Apostle Paul directed us to God’s creation to express the will of the Lord on the roles of men and women, then we know that this is what God intended for everyone that He created, not just the church.  There was no church setting in Genesis.   We are responsible to support the design of Almighty God everywhere in society as the salt of the earth.   This is better for men and women.

Women will still have plenty to do of eternal benefit in which God will be honored by their fulfilling His design.  They can preach to women and children.  They can function within the home as an entrepreneur of sorts, like the Proverbs 31 woman.  They can ask and encourage men to lead.   They can work under the authority of men.  Like most men, they can learn.  They can fulfill God’s role for women.

Men and women stand as equals before God, both bearing the image of God Himself but not making one inferior to the other. God calls upon both men and women to fulfill roles and responsibilities designed specially for them in certain situations. In fulfilling those God-given roles taught in Holy Scripture, women are not limited. They are reaching their fullest potential because they are following the plan of their own Creator and Designer.

[(1) John Piper supports the above view of the world in an extremely cautious way in the first chapter of the mammoth volume, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. In this thread over at SharperIron, when this issue arose, I found that professing fundamentalists were less biblical than Piper in their thinking on the woman’s role in general.]

[(2) John Knox wrote a 72 page essay on this subject, supporting the point of view of this author.]

[(3) Here’s an article that agrees with this in general, making Scriptural arguments.]

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  1. November 7, 2007 at 10:46 am

    o Women should hold no office in civil government. (3)

    *
    o Women should stop directing, bossing, superintending, administrating, or managing men in the workplace.
    *
    Women should cease leading churches.

    * Women should discontinue preaching to men.

    * Women should no longer challenge or moderate men in blogs and online forums.

    Wow, Brother Kent, what do you really believe? Why is it that when you state straight-forward Biblical precepts and principles, it almost seems extreme to those of us who believe it?

    We, as men of God, must allow the Word of God to renew our minds in the proper fashion. Great post!

  2. truth
    November 7, 2007 at 11:12 am

    “Women should no longer challenge or moderate men in blogs and online forums”

    I think you can find this reference in the newest Brandenburg edition
    KJVB Bible

  3. November 7, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Dear truth,

    How does a woman have a meek and quiet spirit when she is correcting men on a blog or forum?

    Using my King James Version of the Bible, I see no place where a woman alone ever corrects or moderates a man.

  4. Mike Hontz
    November 7, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Kent,

    I have one comment and a few related questions.

    Comment: You said, “Women should no longer challenge . . . men in blogs and online forums.” If I agreed with your premise that women should never be in positions of authority over men, I don’t agree that this would necessarily be a logical application of that principle. Even in marriage, where the Bible clearly says that a women is to be in submission to her husband, I think most conservatives would agree that a marriage is healthier when the wife is free to challenge some of her husband’s ideas and dialogue with him about things that she doesn’t agree with. While she doesn’t have the right to disobey him or dishonor him in her tone of voice, she should be able to challenge him to consider other points of view and he should be humble enough to listen. And so likewise, why shouldn’t women be able to challenge a man on an internet blog to consider a different point of view? She may have insights that he has not considered or thought about that might lend very positively to the discussion. I know I wouldn’t want a marriage where my wife couldn’t even raise an objection or challenge my thinking about areas that she might have better insights in than I do.

    Questions: How would this play out in society? Are you merely expressing what you believe to be the biblical ‘ideal’, or are you calling men and women to align themselves with this standard of ‘no women ever in authority over men’? I ask this because in some ways I don’t see how one could carry this out. Certainly believing women could choose never to seek or accept positions of authority over men such as in a secular job or in a public office. Also, a believing man could choose never to vote for a woman for public office, and they might even be able to only choose to work at a secular job if their boss is a man. But what happens if a person is working at a secular job with a male boss only to have that boss be replaced by a female? Is he required to quit his job? Is he allowed to keep the job but not be biblically responsible to submit to this master since she is a woman? The Bible doesn’t seem to put restrictions on men submitting to their masters on the basis of whether they are male or female. It specifically states that they are to submit even to the wicked and ungodly masters (1 Pet. 2:18).

    In general, I would tend to approach this issue in a similar way that Paul addressed divorce and remarriage with unbelievers and believers. For obvious reasons, Paul gives commands for the believing spouse to follow when he/she has an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor. 7:12-16). However, Paul didn’t try to set out standards for the unbelieving spouse to follow because Paul assumed that the unbelieving spouse could care less what he, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, had to say. In general, it made no sense to try to set up “Christian” guidelines for unbelievers to follow because they had no reason to align themselves with those standards. The same seems to be true here as well. It seems as though for your ideas to be carried out, it would require that the secular arenas respect and follow God’s principles as well, which they obviously don’t. Therefore, I’m not convinced that God was intending through Paul to establish guidelines for the secular world such as in government and in the workplace when he said that the man is the head of the woman. It seems that while you might be right that that the Christian ‘ideal’ would be for godly men to lead godly submissive women in all areas of life including government and secular jobs, there is no way for Christians to carry this out in the midst of a secular society of which they are encouraged to remain in. In general, unless the unbelieving world was willing to live by these standards, how do you propose that Christians try to be obedient to such standards without completely coming out of the world and setting up their own secluded society completely distinct from the rest of the world, sort of like the Amish, but even more extreme?

  5. Dave Mallinak
    November 7, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Mike,

    I’ll only answer one of your questions here. By the way, I think you make some good points. But I would point out that God gives some particular instructions to husbands and wives that do not apply outside of the home. For instance, the husband is to submit to his wife and the wife to her husband (I Cor 7:3-4). The wife is not to question publicly, but is to ask her husband at home (I Cor 14:35). So, that would make an exception for the husband-wife relationship. She is permitted to ask him at home (which could come in the form of a challenge).

    I don’t believe that a challenging attitude is ever right within the home, but some questions will come in the form of a challenge, and the two are to be mutually submitting to each other.

    On the other hand, no man has authority over my wife. And that includes if a man believes that she has spoken out of turn. He needs to approach me about this. So, I would say equally that men should not be challenging women-not-their-wife in blog discussions.

    But the “rules of engagement” differ within a home and outside of a home.

    You brought up some good points, among those your points about the application of this in the real world, where women are occasionally forced to respond to a man sharply in a public place. I would just say that this should only be a last resort. In general, women should not be slapping men across the face. However, there are cases where extreme measures are required, and a slap across the face becomes necessary. And in such cases, as I would say to my wife, I expect to see finger marks.

  6. November 7, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Art,
    Thanks for your comments.

    Truth,
    Interesting.

    Mike,

    Thanks for your participation and taking the time out to consider.

    You said: “If I agreed with your premise that women should never be in positions of authority over men, I don’t agree that this would necessarily be a logical application of that principle. ”

    I answer: I didn’t spend a lot of time making a specific case for the word “challenge,” which is why, I think, you left out the word “moderate.” At the same time, I didn’t use the word “positions of” in my title. The principle of male headship fleshes itself out against the usurping of male authority anywhere. A question is a form of challenge, yet it wasn’t to be done in public in the church (1 Cor. 14:29-35). The tack of a woman to change a man’s opinion is not in “word,” but in lifestyle (1 Pet. 3:1). In a marriage, a man and a woman can agree to discuss, which is why she asks her husband “at home.” It does say “at home.” This maintains male headship. I don’t think you have any verses for “he should be humble enough to listen.” Is it humility for men to submit to the challenge of a woman, as if it were pride if he wouldn’t? Is it possible that a man doesn’t believe in reversing God-designed roles and is humble enough to obey God?

    I mentioned authority by hypothetical in my first post in this month’s topic. This is common on this subject.

    Mike, you ask, “why shouldn’t women be able to challenge a man on an internet blog to consider a different point of view? She may have insights that he has not considered or thought about that might lend very positively to the discussion.”

    I say: That is a moot point. I’m sure women have interesting and intelligent things to ask, but the question is: Should she be asking them? Women ask questions on here and we probably do answer most of them and do discuss them with women. So we choose to answer, but should she choose to ask? She should ask her husband or some other authority in private, based on Scripture. In 1 Cor. 14, women were not to ask questions, but I don’t believe that this means that every question is a challenging one, just that questions are often challenging. To take away the possibility of challenge, the women remained silent in a forum for challenge. Some questions on here are not challenging, but going for information. I don’t think there is an issue there in this setting. It is when the women become challenging and bossy in public that there is a problem here.

    Mike you say: “I know I wouldn’t want a marriage where my wife couldn’t even raise an objection or challenge my thinking about areas that she might have better insights in than I do.”

    I say: A challenge in private is different than a challenge in public. A public challenge is a shame to the woman.

    Mike, you ask several Questions:
    How would this play out in society? I ANSWER IN CAPS. IT IS TRUE THAT AN UNBELIEVING WOMAN LIKELY DOESN’T CARE IF SHE BOSSES A MAN, SO WE CAN’T EXPECT HER TO CLEAN UP HER LIFE TO FULFILL OUR CONVICTIONS. I’M TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT SOCIETAL PRACTICE. I STILL HAVE A WOMAN SENATOR, AND I MIGHT BE PULLED OVER BY A WOMAN POLICE OFFICER. THESE SITUATIONS DON’T MEAN THAT WHAT GOD SAYS ISN’T TRUE.

    Are you merely expressing what you believe to be the biblical ‘ideal’, or are you calling men and women to align themselves with this standard of ‘no women ever in authority over men’? I’M CALLING FOR ALL MEN AND WOMEN TO FOLLOW GOD’S STANDARD. I’M SURE THEY WON’T. BELIEVERS SHOULD RESPOND WELL TO WHAT GOD SAID.

    But what happens if a person is working at a secular job with a male boss only to have that boss be replaced by a female? AS LONG AS HE CAN OBEY GOD’S WORD, IT WON’T MATTER. SHOULD SHE BE IN THAT POSITION. ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE, NO.

    Is he required to quit his job? REQUIRED? NOTHING IN SCRIPTURE REQUIRES HIM TO QUIT A JOB, AS LONG AS HE IS NOT REQUIRED TO DISOBEY SCRIPTURE HIMSELF. IT IS A SHAME TO HER, HOWEVER.

    Is he allowed to keep the job but not be biblically responsible to submit to this master since she is a woman? YOUR QUESTIONS SHOW THE PROBLEM WITH A WOMAN IN AUTHORITY. IT VIOLATES DIVINE ORDER. I BELIEVE WHEN POSSIBLE IT SHOULD BE CHANGED. AGAIN THOUGH, IT IS A SHAME TO HER WHEN SHE USURPS. THE HYPOTHETICALS AGAIN, HOWEVER, DO NOT UNDO WHAT GOD SAID. THEY STILL STAND AS GOD’S WILL.

    In general, unless the unbelieving world was willing to live by these standards, how do you propose that Christians try to be obedient to such standards without completely coming out of the world and setting up their own secluded society completely distinct from the rest of the world, sort of like the Amish, but even more extreme? I DON’T THINK OBEDIENCE TO GOD DESIGNED ROLES REQUIRE THE SAME KIND OF COMPLETE COMING OUT OF THE WORLD. I BELIEVE A BETTER PARALLEL ARE ORTHODOX JEWS, WHO START THEIR OWN BUSINESSES AND OPERATE THEM LIKE THEY WANT. WE SHOULD ENCOURAGE THIS KIND OF ENTREPRENEURISM WITH OUR PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY IN THIS EVIL DAY. IT CAN ALSO HELP US BE A TESTIMONY TO THE WORLD ABOUT HOW TO LIVE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD.

  7. Mike Hontz
    November 8, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Kent,

    The reason I left out the bit about moderating men is because I understand how that would equate with being in a position of authority. I did try to clarify what I meant by thinking it would be OK for a woman to ‘challenge’ a man, even a wife to her husband, in that she would still need to retain a ‘submissive spirit’ in the way that she speaks to her husband and would need to be honoring in her approach. I just don’t see ‘challenging’ another’s ideas as being usurping or dishonoring. I love to be challenged by others so long as they maintain respect for me and me for them. For example, I teach a teenagers’ Sunday school class of which I am in an authoritative position over the teens. However, I would love it if a teen came into my office to ‘challenge’ me to consider another viewpoint on a passage that I taught on. This would show me that they were listening and interacting with what I was saying. Also, it would give us a chance to dialogue about it further and both of us might learn something. People in authority do not necessarily have the right answers all of the time, and that is why I say that they must remain humble enough to receive input and ‘challenges’ to their ideas so long as the one giving it is retaining a submissive and honoring spirit.

    Concerning the overall issue of whether the Bible passages refer to other arenas of life outside of the church and the home I am not sure where I stand. I understand your logic since the passages in question go back to creation and seem to be general rather than issue specific. It also seems to me that in general God has wired men emotionally to function in leadership roles more than he has women. Likewise, it seems that He has wired women emotionally with the compassion and patience with children to work in the home in ways that He hasn’t wired most men. However, I find it odd that the Bible doesn’t specifically address believing women to not serve in government or to be in authority over men in the secular arena of work. I guess one could argue that these would have been moot points in a male-dominated society, and that this accounts for the Bible’s silence on those particular issues. Yet I would have thought that women leaders in a church would have been a moot point in a male-dominated society, and yet the issue obviously needed to be raised to address that. And so in some ways I am torn as to whether I agree or not. Your answers at least helped me see where you stand as far as the believer’s responsibility within a world where women are accepted as leaders in every facet of secular life. I was wrestling with how this even COULD be lived out in practice by believers. It is still a reason why I’m not sure that I agree that Paul/God was trying to address all facets of life when stating the principle of male headship because of the impracticality of how believers could live it out.

    Thanks for your thoughts and interactions.

  8. November 8, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    So is there ever a time when a woman should usurp a man’s authority? What about rape? does she have to just lie there and take it, not fight back?

    How about something as simple of wrong doctrine, say a woman is under the leadership of Jehovah Witness, or Mormon, she is not to challenage their doctrine and leave the church.

    How about female secretaries that are your wife, should their boss being ordering them around? Just simply asking the female secretary to cancel a meeting with another man could be portrayed as usurping authority to that man.

    There is so many situations where this can’t possibly apply. It isn’t that cut and dry.

  9. Sam Hanna
    November 8, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    It is interesting that the first reference to a woman engaged in polygamy was Aholibamah the wife of Esau who had two husbands. She also was the first female leader of a nation in religious history:

    Gen 36:40 And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,
    Gen 36:41 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,

    If you study Biblical and secular history, female leadership is closely tied up with false religion, occult practices and immorality. That itself should be enough to flag a warning light to all concerned.

  10. November 8, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Hello Female,

    I’ve seen these questions almost verbatim elsewhere, so I think I know who thou art.

    You asked: “So is there ever a time when a woman should usurp a man’s authority?”

    Answer: Relook at the title of the post. It isn’t the same as your question. Men are to be in authority. This is not the same thing as obeying every man that comes down the street. Your husband is in authority and God is above Him. Did you notice that in 1 Corinthians 11:3—the head of the man is Christ? This is not as difficult to discern as people make it. If a woman is usurping a man’s authority, that means that she is placing herself over him in authority. If he tells her to do something disobedient to God, she should obey God.

    You asked: “What about rape? does she have to just lie there and take it, not fight back?”

    Answer: Scripture actually speaks to this one in Deuteronomy 22:25-28, and there it says she is to fight it, to cry out. She also isn’t guilty at all. The man is guilty and is to be put to death as a penalty. Since rape is wrong, that is disobedient to God, the woman should not submit to it.

    You commented: “How about something as simple of wrong doctrine, say a woman is under the leadership of Jehovah Witness, or Mormon, she is not to challenage their doctrine and leave the church.”

    Answer: We wouldn’t recognize Mormon or Jehovah Witness organizations as having any authority. Go back to “God is authority,” so you don’t obey man when it means disobeying God. Talk to a Godly man to confront men. That fits the Biblical pattern, and since you are all about adhering to God’s Word, that’s what you should do.

    Question: “How about female secretaries that are your wife, should their boss being ordering them around?”

    Answer: I don’t understand this question. If a woman is under the authority of a male boss, as long as it is Scriptural, it would be fine. I think it is true that some problems can arise when we get a woman under another male authority other than her husband, but it isn’t unscriptural.

    You commented: Just simply asking the female secretary to cancel a meeting with another man could be portrayed as usurping authority to that man.”

    Answer: I also don’t understand this one. If she relays a message from her boss to cancel an appointment, I don’t see how this is usurping male authority.

    You said: “There is (sic) so many situations where this can’t possibly apply. It isn’t that cut and dry.”

    Answer: The Bible is perspicuous, that is, plain. God hasn’t made His Word too difficult for us to obey. The situations that you presented, for instance, were not difficult, so if there are many more of the same kind, they too wouldn’t be difficult. What makes it difficult is when we do disobey what God said.

    Did you enjoy the exegesis of Scripture, female fundamentalist? Do you rejoice in the Word of God, the light to our feet and path? Do you rejoice in the blessings of obeying our loving God? What did you like about the article?

  11. November 9, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Women should hold no office in civil government.

    In Judges we hear the story of Deborah. I think it’s safe to say that she held an office in civil government.

    Women should stop directing, bossing, superintending, administrating, or managing men in the workplace.

    Once again, this is ridiculous to consider. Is your post a hypothesis based on a huge “what-if,” like “what if we lived in ancient Israel?” One might argue that in that time period, when business and family were deeply and intricately interconnected, that women did run the business. Guarding a herd of sheep isn’t exactly comparable to running the household.

    Women should cease leading churches.

    This is a blanket statement that needs discussion. Many would argue that the reason women have stepped up in the church is because men have fallen short. And the brevity of your syntax implies that a woman’s voice shouldn’t even be heard while leading a church. Submitting to the will of another doesn’t always imply “do what the other asks.” Even in my own marriage, my wife’s viewpoint can many times be much more valid than my own.

    Women should discontinue preaching to men.

    Are you implying that if a man is in sin and only a woman will confront him, that it shouldn’t be done merely because she’s a woman? I mean, there are countless situations that come up in everyday life that flies in the face of this position.

    Women should no longer challenge or moderate men in blogs and online forums.

    Now you’re just being sexist. Are you serious? The Internet is an open forum, a great equalizer if you will. And you’re implying that men should be unquestioned in this arena. I’m sorry, but I disagree wholeheartedly.

  12. November 9, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Brother Kent,

    I appreciate this line of posts a great deal, but I need to ask you something.

    In your answer to “female” you said, Answer: “If a woman is under the authority of a male boss, as long as it is Scriptural, it would be fine. I think it is true that some problems can arise when we get a woman under another male authority other than her husband, but it isn’t unscriptural.”

    My question is this, “Is it Scriptural?” What Biblical instance or principle do we have that suggests that a woman should be under another man’s authority in a workplace situation? I have a real problem with this. Help me, please.

  13. November 9, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Zachary,

    Brother Brandenburg does not need me to answer for him, so I will say a few things about your post that bothered me.

    In each of your instances which you pointed out, each of your answers was one of “culture”, “experience”, or “human logic.” I would answer your concerns Scripturally, but of course, Brother Brandenburg has already done this.

    The internet is not the great equalizer you imagine. It is a public forum, and women should not challenge, call down, or correct men in a public forum.

    The question you raised about church leadership particularly bothers me. How is a woman to be heard in a church setting when she is not even supposed to ask questions at church? She is supposed to ask her husband at home. If women are running a church or much of it, I would say that that church is no longer a New Testament Church.

    Count me in the sexist bunch. I am not afraid of labels.

  14. November 9, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Good question Brother Art, and I appreciate it, because I did say that it was a problem. I don’t see the woman in the workplace under another man’s authority to be the rule and or even necessarily the best, as I said. I haven’t explored this Scripturally as much as I should, and it is something I probably should do in the future. We do have examples in Scripture of fatherless and husbandless women. I think of Ruth and Naomi. I can’t remember their names, but the five daughters that received an inheritance from Moses in the OT. I have some of those in our church as well. I believe they should be under the authority of men. We teach that. I don’t believe Scripture anywhere is expressly against women in the proxy authority under another man other than her father or her husband. I believe that if the father or the husband authorize it, then it is permissible.

    I am open to being proven otherwise, but this is where I stand right now on this issue. I don’t back away from what I have written in my post, and I’ll deal later with the one long contrary comment above.

  15. November 9, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for your reply, Brother Kent. I appreciate that you do not back down, but you are willing to let the Scriptures mold your views. Otherwise, I am thrilled to see this whole conversation in print.

  16. November 11, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Zachary,

    You said: “In Judges we hear the story of Deborah. I think it’s safe to say that she held an office in civil government.”

    IMy answer: You don’t give much of a defense here. You sound unsure. We have clear passages with propositional teaching. The Deborah example is an exception during a time when every man did that which is right in his own eyes. I’ve never said God can’t use women. I said they are equal in essence, but God has a pattern and that we should follow. Notice that Deborah recruits Barak to lead, as well. That would give a balanced presentation on her.

    You said: “Many would argue that the reason women have stepped up in the church is because men have fallen short. And the brevity of your syntax implies that a woman’s voice shouldn’t even be heard while leading a church. Submitting to the will of another doesn’t always imply “do what the other asks.” Even in my own marriage, my wife’s viewpoint can many times be much more valid than my own.”

    My answer: Read 1 Corinthians 14:29-35 and 1 Timothy 2:9-15. They explicitly answer what you have written here. I recognize that feminist “theologians” have redefined “head,” but historic interpretation of these passages, their plain teaching, is that within a church context, women don’t lead men.

    You said: “Are you implying that if a man is in sin and only a woman will confront him, that it shouldn’t be done merely because she’s a woman? I mean, there are countless situations that come up in everyday life that flies in the face of this position.”

    My answer: This is argument by hypothetical. I believe a woman sins when she usurps male authority. I’m not going to get into the hypotheticals. A woman could help a man spiritually without violating this. I took this application from 1 Tim. 2:11, 12.

    You said: “Now you’re just being sexist. Are you serious? The Internet is an open forum, a great equalizer if you will. And you’re implying that men should be unquestioned in this arena. I’m sorry, but I disagree wholeheartedly.”

    My answer: God created male and female and God gave them their roles. Role doesn’t determine worth. Their equality is not based upon their role, but on their essence. They are not equal in role. The man heads the woman. I’m not at all implying that men should be left unquestioned. I am saying that men ought to do the challenging of men, not women. I’ve shown why.

  17. T. Ross
    November 11, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    I agree that women should be under men. My comment relates to the Trinitarianism in 1 Cor 11:3. I don’t believe that verse relates to the ontological Trinity, the eternal relation of the Son to the Father, but the the economic Trinity, the subordination of the Son as Mediator, as Theanthropos. The article did not affirm that it was the eternal ontic Trinitarian relation, but I think sometimes brethren use it as if it did, when I don’t believe it relates.

    In 1 Corinthians 11:3, Paul stated, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Commenting on this, Unitarians argue:
    Almighty God, Jehovah, [is] a personality separate from Jesus but He is at all times his superior. Jesus is always presented as separate and lesser, a humble servant of God. That is why the Bible plainly says that “the head of the Christ is God” in the same way that “the head of every man is the Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
    However, the phrase, “the head of Christ is God” speaks of the humanity of the Lord Jesus, not His Divine nature; it does not contradict the testimonies recorded elsewhere in the epistle to the Lord Jesus’ Deity (1:2; 8:6; 10:4, 9; cf. Exodus 17:5-6; 17:2, 7; Numbers 21:5-6; Deuteronomy 6:16). 1 Corinthians speaks about Christ as the perfect man, as the second Adam and the representative of redeemed humanity (1 Corinthians 15:20-22; cf. Ephesians 4:13, 15). As man represents woman in Scripture, as the head of the household, as the generic term for the race (man, not woman is the generic term for a person, and the masculine he, not the feminine she, is used for mixed and unidentified groups in Biblical Hebrew and Greek, and even in English grammar), and even as the first Adam represented his wife in Genesis, so does the second Adam represent His people. Identified with the perfect man, the Lord Jesus, the people of God are dead with Christ (Colossians 2:20; 3:3), buried with Christ (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12), and risen with Christ (Ephesians 2:7; Colossians 3:1). The Messiah, the perfect Man, is the head of all other men (1 Corinthians 11:3b) and mediates the rule of God to man, bringing all those who are in Him underneath the rule of God, even as He is underneath that rule (1 Corinthians 11:3d). The affirmation of the full humanity of Christ found in 1 Corinthians 11:3 by no means denies His full Deity.

  18. June 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    What if there are widows need to ask questions? When it talks about asking questions is it talking about asking questions in the context of times during which the church is assembled for worship?

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